By Tordue Salem
ABUJAâ€”A Bill to prohibit the overseas basic and undergraduate education of children and wards of public officers and other matters, awaits second reading in the House of Representatives.
The Bill sponsored by Rep. Emmanuel Bello (PDP/Hong/Adamawa) seeks punishment for public office holders who send their children for education abroad without a â€œwaiverâ€ from the Education Minister.
According to the bill, â€œSubject to a written waiver granted under the hand of the Minister for Education, every child and or wards of public servant shall henceforth undergo basic and undergraduate education in the country.
â€œThe Minister for Education shall in consideration of an application for waiver pursuant to Section I be guided by the nature of the proposed course of study for an undergraduate applicant, medical condition and the general national interest
â€œWithout prejudice to the generality of the provisions of this Act, any public officer whose children and or wards are undergoing basic and undergraduate education overseas immediately before the date when this Act comes into force shall be deemed to be doing so pursuant to a waiver granted by the MinisterÂ for Educationâ€.
The bill added that â€œSave as otherwise prescribed, any public officer who seeks, applies and procures overseas education and or scholarship for his children or wards for basic or undergraduate education shall be guilty of an offenceâ€.
But one of the colleagues of the sponsor of the Bill, Rep. Friday Itulah(PDP/Edo State), said the piece of legislation was unnecessary and undemocratic.
â€œThat is rubbish talk you can send your children anywhere you like. This is democracy, if you have money you can send your children in space. Issues like that are better taken as motions instead of Billsâ€, he said.